Nov 23, 2013, 12:09 PM EDT
Swansea take temporary possession of tenth place thanks to their win at Craven Cottage, and reminded themselves of what it feels like to win on the road, after six games without. Fulham, meanwhile, find themselves even more miserable, with the loss marking their fourth straight. Despite the addition of Rene Meulensteen alongside Martin Jol, the Cottagers remain in the relegation zone, and still looked, for the majority of the match, rather hapless.
The first half may have been goalless, but at least both sides had one or two decent chances. Swansea came out slightly on top, with ten shots, forcing some quick blocks on many of them. Just before the break, Nathan Dyer was cruelly denied a chance to put the visitors ahead, when Maarten Stekelenburg blocked his shot with his leg.
Fulham, meanwhile, were a bit more cautious, perhaps bargaining on the fact that one point would be better than none at all. Their best chance came around the half-hour mark, when Darren Bent smacked the woodwork with his sharp shot. But if Bent wants to establish himself as a regular starter, he’s going to have to do a bit better.
Swansea started the second half quite lively, building into their attacks and getting in shots. Wilfried Bony and Roland Lamah both went wide. Dyer saw another shot denied, this time by a perfectly timed tackle by Kieran Richardson. Stekelenburg saved an attempt from Jonathan De Guzman, while Ben Davies saw two shots blocked — all within the opening ten minutes of the second half.
And so there was little surprise when that pressure resulted in the Swans taking the lead. The goal came courtesy of Fulham, however. Aaron Hughes attempted to clean up a cross from De Guzman and, in so doing, legged the ball into the back of his own net. You could just see Martin Jol’s blood pressure rise.
Fortunately, the Fulham manager’s health was spared less than ten minutes later, when his side put the ball in the back of the correct net. The goal by Scott Parker didn’t look entirely intentional — it was a chipped ball off a corner from Bryan Ruiz, that somehow evaded Michel Vorm and ended up in the top corner. It was a fantastic goal to watch, but it also seemed a touch unbelievable.
Intentional or not, Fulham sure wouldn’t have minded a repeat. Instead, it was Swansea that took the lead once more, ten minutes before the whistle. Jonjo Shelvey, who replaced Dyer at the hour mark, weaved his way through the Fulham defense and sent in his shot from just outside the area. The sharp shot flew past an outstretched Stekelenburg to nestle into the top right corner.
Fulham: Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Richardson; Parker (Taarabt 86), Kasami, Boateng (Sidwell 60), Ruiz (Kačaniklić 77); Berbatov, Bent
Subs not used: Stockdale, Senderos, Dejagah, Dembele
Goals: Parker 64′
Subs not used: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Britton
Goals: Hughes o.g. 56′; Shelvey 80′
- Omar Gonzalez still dreams of Europe but “committed to the Galaxy” 0
- EXCLUSIVE: Luke Shaw speaks out about Manchester United move 2
- Pep Guardiola praises Jurgen Klinsmann’s team concept, USMNT movement 2
- Premier League teams on US Soil: Tuesday’s roundup and look ahead 4
- Racial incident against Man City’s Fofana ends U-21 match in Croatia 1
- Sorting through the most recent DaMarcus Beasley-to-MLS reports 4